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How to Plan a Funeral

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Step-by-step guidance on planning a funeral

A funeral is one of the most important rituals in life. A time of mourning and celebration, a funeral gives family and community the opportunity to come together to say goodbye and pay tribute to one of their own. Whether you have an immediate need for a stately and traditional service, or you are planning ahead to create a unique, individual memorial, these checklists will guide you through the steps of planning a funeral.

Browse all funeral planning articles below or jump to a specific section:


Plan a Funeral or Memorial Service


How to Plan a Funeral After a Death

A loved one has died and now it’s up to you to plan the funeral. While it's challenging to plan a service and grieve at the same time, know that you don’t have to do it alone — Legacy and our partner funeral homes are available to help. Our detailed funeral planning checklist will guide you through the steps of finding a funeral home and planning a meaningful funeral. 

How to Plan a Funeral in Advance

With any big decision in life, it’s helpful to have time to research and consider options — and funeral planning is no exception. Pre-planning your funeral can protect your family from having to make stressful decisions while grieving, as well as relieve the financial burden on surviving family members. Use Legacy's pre-planning checklist to help you pre-plan a funeral for yourself or a loved one.

How Much Does the Average Funeral Cost?

The average funeral with burial costs $8,755. But what does that include, what does it not include, and how much can it vary?

How Much Does Cremation Cost?

Cremation is usually less expensive than burial. But how much does it cost?

How to Pay for a Funeral

Whatever your family’s budget, here are three quick starting points to give your loved one an affordable and meaningful send-off.

How Funeral Directors Can Help a Family

A funeral director can be one of your most important allies in the days and weeks after a loved one's death. 

How to Plan a Memorial Service

"I’m coordinating a memorial service for my brother. How can I make it appropriate for all in attendance who have many thoughts and religious beliefs?"

How to Plan a Memorial Service for a Baby

Losing a child in infancy or during pregnancy can be traumatic for the parents and other loved ones. Here are ways to honor a baby's life and come together to mourn their death.

How to Plan an Ash-Scattering Ceremony

If you'd like to plan an ash-scattering ceremony for a loved one, here's a checklist to help you make it just right.


Funeral, Burial & Cremation Options


Should I Pre-Plan My Funeral?

Deciding your funeral arrangements in advance can give peace of mind to your family when the time comes.

Should I Have a Traditional Funeral Service?

A funeral is a powerful thing: a ritual that all at once publicly acknowledges a death. Through countless variations, the classic funeral format endures. But is it right for you and your family?

Burial or Cremation: Which Is Right for My Family?

For many, the tradition of burying the dead provides comfort after loss. But it's a complicated issue with many factors to consider.

How Cremation Works

If you're planning a funeral for a loved one who wished to be cremated, or pre-planning for yourself with cremation in mind, here's a look at what the process entails.

What Is a Green Funeral or Natural Burial?

The idea of a green funeral is gaining a lot of traction these days. While it seems to be a "next big thing" topic these days, the truth is that natural burial is not really a new trend, it's the way we buried our dead for most of human history.

Alternatives to Burial and Cremation

A guide to the most common alternatives to standard burial or cremation, as well as basic info about cremation and burial to help you decide which of the many options is right for you.

How to Choose Cremation Urns and Keepsakes

There are nearly as many different types of urns as there are different kinds of people. Use our guide to find the one that suits your needs.

Where Can I Scatter a Loved One's Ashes Legally?

Before you head to your loved one's favorite beach or football stadium, make sure it's okay to scatter the ashes in the place you're planning on.


Ways to Make It Meaningful


What Makes a Good Funeral?

A good funeral is the kind of funeral you remember, even years later, because it was the perfect tribute to someone very special.

11 Unique Funeral Venues

What if, instead of sitting in pews at a church, friends and family could gather to celebrate a life under a canopy on a sunny beach?

10 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to a Memorial Balloon Launch

It’s a tradition that many find uplifting and comforting. But there’s a dark side to balloon releases. Here are 10 eco-friendly ways to create a beautiful, meaningful tribute.

What Kind of Flowers Should I Buy for a Funeral?

Funeral flowers are a beautiful reminder of the life and legacy of the deceased. Here is a guide to which sympathy flowers are often used to remember the most important people in our lives.

Why Choosing Funeral Music Is So Important

Music affects us with a power that not even psychologists and neurologists can fully explain. For many of us who have lost a loved one, music acts as a catalyst that lets us continue to feel and express our grief. 

Top Funeral Songs

Memorial songs and funeral hymns set the mood of our memories; they honor our loved ones' lives; they give us something to hold on to when things get very emotional. Here are some of the most beloved songs that families have been known to play at funerals and celebrations of life.

Top Religious Funeral Songs

Here are 10 of the most beloved religious songs played or performed at funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life.

Funeral Poems for Loved Ones

Find a meaningful poem to include in a funeral or memorial service, as well as poetry to help you cope with a loved one’s death.


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